Tuesday, February 23, 2010

It's not much, but it's home...

Here's a pretty good article on 1-14's little base, FOB (formerly COP) Cobra.

Most of the quotes come from the brigade's preventive health officer, CPT Mary Nolan. I like Mary but she states Cobra has never run out of food. Unfortunately on two occasions I have gone to the mess hall only to be turned away because they were out of food. Just one of the hazards of this place you have to live with sometimes.

The best part is where the article describes the toilet conditions. Never again will I complain about a toilet after having to deal with the latrine situation here.

The quote at the end..."It's not ideal, but it is Iraq", also amuses me a bit. CPT Nolan gets to go back to FOB Warhorse after her short trips to Cobra, the rest of us have to live here.

To be honest, I prefer this place over a larger base like Warhorse or Victory/Liberty where I spent my first and a good chunk of my second deployment at. Less distractions and some pretty good war stories, and at least we have the internet. Things could be a lot worse.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Blog writing when I should be sleeping

This deployment is really flying by for me, it's hard to believe 3-2 SBCT is over 6 months through this third deployment to Iraq. Of course there are many days when I look at the calendar and think "ANOTHER 6 months???"

The entire brigade is extremely busy attempting to do several things at once, all of them hard. Each battalion size element is attempting to do more with less in an area that is the size of Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts combined.

1-23 IN, the Tomahawks, are attempting to eliminate a very stubborn and very dangerous Jaysh Al Mahdi network in the southern portion of their operating environment while trying to keep villages along two river valleys from going back under control of Al Qaida in Iraq.

2-3 IN, the Patriots, have an extremely complex operating environment along the Diyala River Valley. They are attempting to clean up an area that is several dozen villages sitting along a sectarian divide that could break out into bloody conflict similar to '06-'07.

5-20 IN, the Regulars, are taking on the task of ensuring the Iraqi Security Forces in Baqubah keep order as well as have the potential hotspots of Kanaan and Balad Ruz (birthplace of the Islamic State of Iraq) as well as a good chunk of the Iraq/Iran border.

1-37 FA, the Red Lions, shifted completely from what they trained for and are essentially partnering with Provincial Reconstruction Teams to overwatch projects and keep the money flowing.

1-14 CAV, Warhorse, overworked, overstretched, and always seeking to do more. We are the Brigade's main effort as we deal with 75% of the border, tribal conflict and paramount sheikh dispute in a large tribal region, a persistant and "last bastion" Al Qaida safe haven, and have the pleasure of manning a series of "combined checkpoints" manned by Iraqi Army, Peshmerga militia, and US soldiers. These checkpoints are meant as a stop gap measure to keep civil war at bay while the politicians in Baghdad attempt to solve the issue of where Kurdistan actually begins.

What else is my Squadron doing? Well catching this guy for example. How important is this catch? Not as important as the press release would make it seem, but still a big catch.

A sense of accomplishment and relief rolls over you when a high value target is captured. However there is also that question in the back of your mind, "will this capture accomplish anything?"

Time will tell.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Worst blogger ever...

To the few loyal readers that I have, I apologize. There has been a serious lack in blogs in about a month and a half. I do have a very good reason for this:

No, it's not because I am too busy. Those who visit Facebook know that I am on there quite regularly.

The problem was that despite having commercial internet in the office, I could not access the site to update this blog. I could read my own blog, I just couldn't update it.

I'm also too lazy to walk to the MWR to update my blog there.

I will hopefully post something more indepth later. My squadron has been hard at work catching bad guys, manning tripartite checkpoints, and enjoying USO shows with the Houston Texan cheerleaders.